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The Orr Family of Marion County WV


The history of this family of Orrs traces back to the trying days of the revolutionary war when one of its number served in the American army, and fought for freedom. The Orr who is the first known in the line now under consideration, but whose Christian name is unknown, was the father of John D. Orr, who became the grandfather of Morgan D. Orr, now residing at Fairmont, West Virginia, of whom later account will be given.

(II) John D., son of the Orr named above, was born in Maryland, and after serving as a substitute for his father in the struggle for national independence, removed with the family to Pennsylvania, where John D. saw service in the Indian campaigns and was wounded at Crawford’s Depot. He went to Preston county, Virginia (now West Virginia), in 1798, and married a Miss Johns and by her had children: John, a stockman of Preston county; Hiram, born October 1, 1804; George, a Preston county farmer; James, a Preston county farmer; Catherine, married Joshua Fortney, of Shinnston, West Virginia, a farmer; Ruth, married William Menear, a Preston county farmer.

(III) Hiram, son of John D. Orr, was born in Preston county, Virginia, October 1, 1804. He was educated in the primitive schools of Preston county, and followed farming and school teaching all his life, dying April 24, 1855, at Independence, Preston county, West Virginia. Politically he voted the Whig ticket, and in his church faith was of the Baptist denomination. He married, February 19, 1829, Keziah, born November 13, 1809, daughter of John and Katherine (Fortney) Menear. Children: Eugene J., born December 30, 1831, died in Taylor county, West Virginia, in 1867, a farmer; Major Uriah N., born April 24, 1832, a retired Preston county lumberman and banker at Kingwood; Martha, born September 10, 1836, married a Mr. Menear; Morgan D., of whom further; Hugh N.; Miles H., a Preston county farmer. Mrs. Keziah (Menear) Orr died March 21, 1846. Hiram Orr married (second) Mrs. Charlotte (Hartley) Holt, daughter of Edward Hartley, and by this union was born Waitman L., a dealer in lumber, cooperage, etc., in Baltimore, Maryland, where he died in 1904.

(IV) Morgan D., son of Hiram and Keziah (Menear) Orr, was born in Preston county, Virginia, March 21, 1841. He was educated at the subscription schools, after which he was employed in the Newburg Coal Company, beginning as coal weigher, and remained with this company thirty-five years, holding many responsible positions, until they sold to the Consolidation Coal and Coke Company, when he retired. He went to Fairmont in 1864 and has lived in that city ever since; has served on the school board; has been mayor of the city, being elected in 1900 and served one term acceptably. Politically Mr. Orr votes the Republican ticket. Of his military career it should be recorded in this connection that he wore the loyal blue during the trying years of the civil war. June 21, 1861, he enlisted at Newburg, Preston county, Virginia, as a member of Company D, Third West Virginia Infantry Regiment, serving in all the West Virginia campaigns; was at the battle of McDowell, under Colonel Milroy; wounded at the battle of Cross Keys, June 8, 1862, and confined in hospital until April 17, 1863, when he was honorably discharged. In Grand Army of the Republic circles he stands eminent. He is an ex-commander and now adjutant of the post at Fairmont. He also holds membership in Palatine Lodge, No. 27, Knights of Pythias, as well as belonging to the Masonic fraternity, holding a membership with Blue Lodge, No. 9, and Chapter, No. 3.

Mr. Orr married Isabella, daughter of Lawrence and Mariam (Holmes) Henry, of Preston county, West Virginia. Mrs. Orr was born in Scotland. Children: 1. Lawrence Henry, born January 29, 1865. 2. Charles H., July 26, 1868, residing in Colorado. 3. Mary, April 24, 1871; married Frank Ellis, and died in 1900. 4. Alice D., September 7, 1876; married Garrett McCafferty, of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. 5. Marion Isabella, August 13, 1878; married Charles Gould, of Fairmont, West Virginia.

Personal and Genealogical History of the Upper Monongahela Valley West Virginia, Vol 2, Illustrated, Bernard Butcher, ed; Lewis Historical Publ Co, NY 1912 pp 515-517

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